Two by two: London Zoo counts its many inhabitants
January 2, 2014 in Biology / Plants & Animals
(AP)—From aardvarks to zebras, the residents of London Zoo are coming forth to be counted.
Dozens of zookeepers—brandishing both clipboards and snacks to coax out reluctant creatures—are recording every mammal, bird, fish, invertebrate, reptile and amphibian as part of the zoo's annual animal census.
The zoo is home to 19,000 animals of more than 850 species, from 400-pound (185-kilogram) silverback gorillas to insects such as the tiny leaf-cutter ant.
New arrivals this year include a baby Malayan tapir, two flamingo chicks and the first spiny-headed lizards born in Britain.
The head count, which began Thursday, is required under the license terms for all British zoos. The data goes into an international database and is used to plan zoo management and breeding programs for endangered animals.